Another blog that is in my professional toolkit is School Library Monthly. Put together by an experienced and talented group of school library professionals, the posts are manageable, yet thought provoking. I especially enjoyed the recent Online Dating, the Tempered Radical, and Us discussing the role of library media in schools and the complex interaction between librarian and teacher that can so often go awry.
I work in a school of experienced high school teachers where, quite frankly, they don't want me teaching their classes for them. I can't do it better or even as well, and we all know that. What they want is for me to fill in the blanks, compensate for their weaknesses, and help with thorny assessment, technology, and information problems without undermining them. In return, I expect some professional respect from them. Of course, the balance of expectation and roles in your school is almost certainly different, but to be effective, you have to honestly evaluate what that balance is, whether or not the balance should shift for the improvement of student education, and how you can make that happen without killing yourself (or others) in the process.
I'm also wondering whether there is a very real movement to replace librarians with literacy coaches. The shrinking pot of resources is going to be spent somewhere. I used to think that the gold was going to technology, and a tremendous amount of money is being spent there, but I think that expenditure is almost taken for granted right now. While working through the MTSS process in our district this year--an amazing and professionally rewarding experience that I would not trade for the world--I'm wondering if in agonizing over where to put the resources where they will best impact student learning, the librarian might well find herself the expendable one. Joyce Valenza Ph.D develops that idea more in her slightly overwrought post on her School Library Journal blog. As usual, she says the disconnect between libraries and funding is our fault for making an ineffective case, but I am not sure that is true. The same forces that put librarians in schools in the 50s and 60s have shifted their attention in a new direction and there may not be a thing we can do about it.
The only thing I know for sure is that if the Powers That Be are effective in dismantling school libraries, there will be a movement within ten years to rebuild them with qualified personnel. The vacuum the loss of the school librarian will create will be profound and possibly irreparable.